Last year we purchased a home that been soiled by the previous owners’ cat.
We thought that having the carpets professionally cleaned would take care of it
but it just made the problem worse.
After using several well-advertised and expensive cat urine removal products that
didn’t work, I was searching on the web for a solution and found a homemade
remedy that uses three simple household products. Desperate I tried it and
wouldn’t you know it – it worked!
So well that I had to find out why and researched the chemistry and origins of the
recipe. I found out it was developed originally by a chemist for neutralizing the
proteins in skunk odor, which are the same proteins found in cat urine and give it
it’s horrible smell!
Cat urine is not much different from any other urine, be it human or other animals.
It is made up urea, creatinine, uric acid, sodium and other electrolytes. When cat
urine dries the urea gets broken down by bacteria which gives it that distinctive
ammonia smell. As it decomposes further it releases thiols which make the cat
urine odor worse yet.
The recipe works because the reaction of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda
produces large amount of oxygen. The oxygen molecules bond to the thiols,
breaking them up into carbon dioxide and ammonia, that evaporates quickly
thereby effectively neutralizing the thoils and their foul-smelling odor.
- 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of liquid soap
Gently mix all ingredients in a non-metal container. Do not mix or shake
The mixture is best used when fresh but can be stored. Do not keep mixture in an
airtight container as baking soda and hydrogen peroxide when mixed together
release loads of oxygen. We don’t want an explosion on our hands on top of the
mess we already have!
I mix and keep mine in a large spray bottle I bought from Home Depot but on old
plastic liter soda bottle works just a well. Just remember to keep the cap on
3% hydrogen peroxide can be bought at most grocery and drug stores in pint
and quart bottles.
A word of caution:
Surfaces that are porous may swell e.g. drywall, wood flooring, particle board,
etc. with application of this recipe. But if your surface is already ruined by cat
urine and you want to get rid of the odor until you can replace it – give it a try.
Always test for color-fastness when using first. Apply to a small area and wait
24-48 hours until dry before using on an entire area. Hydrogen peroxide is a
bleaching agent in stronger concentrations (think teeth whiteners) and can lighten
materials that are not color-fast.